A French zookeeper beat an ostrich to death with a shovel and attempted to blame a pony for the killing.
The zookeeper in La Teste-de-Buch, southwestern France, was subsequently convicted of animal cruelty and sentenced to six months in jail, four of which were suspended.
He had initially attempted to blame the attack on an aged pony, which shared a pen with the bird, but was arrested after co-workers revealed they had spotted him beating the animal.
Zoo officials raised questions over the claim that the pony had kicked the bird due to the age of the horse and the height of the bird.
A subsequent investigation revealed the animal had died from a blow to the head from a shovel. The man was fired from his job of fifteen years and in addition to his sentence was fined 5,000 euros.